BMW has released its first ever V8 powered M3 convertible, sure to bring a new era of performance to open-air driving.
Sporting a monstrous 309kW 4.0-litre V8 engine which happily revs to north of 8000rpm, buyers will have the choice of either a six-speed manual or the new seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic.
Unlike most faux-manual transmissions, the new M double clutch transmission out-powers its manual alternative in the sprint to 100km/h – done away with in just 5.1 seconds.
The M3 convertible shares its aluminium powerdome bonnet, flared wheel arches, 18–inch wheels and dual M tailpipes with its four-door and coupe brethren, only the doors, three-piece steel roof, boot lid, windows and rear lights are interchangeable with other 3 Series Convertibles.
Amazingly, this high-revving, hard-accelerating sports car consumes only 12.3-litres per 100km.
Its centerpiece is of course the three-piece lightweight steel roof which opens or retracts in 22 seconds, however reduced torsional stiffness and added weight means it is just over half a second slower than the M3 Coupe to one hundred.
The M3 Convertible is fitted with dual front and head-thorax side airbags as well as central safety electronics that control the restraint systems, including a roll bar behind the rear seats that is automatically activated in the event of a rollover.
Active safety features such as ABS, ASC, CBC and DSC improve on-road predictability and also create a potent track weapon coupled with variable M Differential Lock which delivers power to the road in a controlled and measured way.
The braking system, like that of the M3 Coupé, comprises vented, cross-drilled discs at front and rear, designed to decrease weight while minimising thermal loads under heavy use.
The high quality interior boasts all of BMW’s goodies, including a wide range of customisation options, innovative colours and materials and an optional BMW Individual High End audio system with a nine-channel amplifier and 16 high-power speakers.